How to Make Your Customers Feel Special


Share on LinkedIn

Doctors Bedside MannerCustomer Service Experience

You do the same thing, over and over each day. Work is a routine. You might even get bored. So how do you stay motivated to be nice to your customers? Before we answer that question, let me share an example with you to set up the lesson.

I have a friend who is a very successful orthopedic doctor. He has a reputation for being really good at what he does, which includes both his ability as a surgeon and his bedside manner. One morning we were playing golf and with a couple of holes to go I asked what he was doing the rest of the day. He said he had a hip-replacement surgery to perform in about an hour. I asked him if he needed to leave right away. He said he was in no rush. The hospital was nearby and as long as he was there a few minutes early, he’d have plenty of time to prep for the surgery. I asked if he needed to get psyched up for the operation to get his “head in the game.” He casually said, “No,” and proceeded to take his shot.

I was surprised that he didn’t need to spend time to mentally prepare. Whenever I do a speech, which I assume is much easier to do than a hip-replacement, I need some time to get focused. How could he not need time to mentally prepare?

As my doctor buddy walked away, another member of our golf group came up to me and said, “He does this all of the time. It’s like carpentry. For him, it’s as easy as a skilled carpenter hanging a door.”

Carpentry? That’s what a hip surgery is? As easy as hanging a door? I don’t think so. But, the point is that it is mechanical. The doc does three to five surgeries a day, four days a week. That’s at least 12 surgeries, if not more, each week, and if he does that at least 40 weeks throughout the year, he is doing at least 500 surgeries a year – for the last thirty years. That means he done at least 15,000 surgeries. I’m guessing by now he’s finally got it down. Okay, I get it.

So, on the last hole I asked him if he ever gets bored doing his “carpentry” work. He laughed and said, “All the surgeries are pretty much the same, with the exception of the occasional problem. But, what’s not the same are the patients. Each of them are different. They are all people and need to be treated as if they are the only patient I have.”

And, there you go! He gets it. That’s why his reputation is stellar. That’s why other doctors refer their patients to him. He’s a good surgeon – and a good person.

Isn’t that what you want from the people you do business with? You want them to be good at what they do, sell a product that does what it’s supposed to do, and give you the customer service experience you rightly deserve. And conversely, that is exactly what your customers want from you.

So, no matter how long you’ve been doing what you do, no matter how many times you’ve done it, no matter if you are bored by it or still get excited about it, each time you interact with your customer, it’s your opportunity to make them feel special… as if they are your only (and most important) customer.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Shep Hyken
Shep Hyken, CSP, CPAE is the Chief Amazement Officer of Shepard Presentations. As a customer service speaker and expert, Shep works with companies who want to build loyal relationships with their customers and employees. He is a hall of fame speaker (National Speakers Association) and a New York Times and Wall Street Journal best-selling author.


  1. Great piece, Shep. Never thought about how “routine” the practice of medicine might be to a physician while the practice of patient experience management is never routine. And, from the customer’s perspective, it is the bedside manner that makes all the difference. This is especially important since as patients (unless we happened to have gone to med school) we are not qualified to judge the excellence of his hip-replacement prowess. Also, I always enjoy your great cartoon work!

  2. Thanks Chip – Great to hear from you. Glad you enjoyed the article and the cartoon. Let’s keep fighting the good fight. Between you and me – and a few of our colleagues – we may help improve the world – that is the business world!


Please use comments to add value to the discussion. Maximum one link to an educational blog post or article. We will NOT PUBLISH brief comments like "good post," comments that mainly promote links, or comments with links to companies, products, or services.

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here